The Mantles: All Odds End

The Mantles are a lovely indie pop band with some serious west coast influence. Something about the band’s music says sun, surf, and sand –probably the surfy undertones. Their latest release keeps consistent with this styling, All Odds End is an ode to The Mantles’ style.

Poppy melodies, groovy guitar lines, and whiny lyrics –just what we needed. The Mantles latest release, All Odds End is like a cold glass of lemonade on a hot day; it’s good but it’s predictable. The album is really a no thrills indie jam session. Overall, fairly listenable. All Odds End kicks off with an appropriately named song, “Island.” It’s a surfy tune and a nice introduction to what’s to come. The jingle-jangle and the distant, monotonous vocals. All the pieces are there.  Later on The Mantles treats us to a track entitled, “Time To Come Away.” It’s brief but picks up a sound reminiscent of The Pains of Being Pure At Heart –maybe it’s just the pacing. Overall, a break from the consistently indie-surf-pop works pretty well for the band. It’s effective and adds an extra, much needed dynamic.

I know indie pop when I hear it, and All Odds End sure is indie pop. Complete with those jangling guitar melodies and whiny vocals, the album is archetypical to say the least. Unfortunately this also means it runs the risk of sounding generic. Truth is, few songs really stood out on the album. The Mantles did a fine enough job, but sadly their music just fails to stand out as really interesting. Truth is, for those who remember last time we reviewed The Mantles’ work, it suffered the same problem –the band is just too afraid of taking any big risks. In general the album is more likable than past releases, but it’s just not innovative or impressive. Worse yet, there seems to be a lack of emotion. There just doesn’t seem to be any sentiment behind the album’s songs. It’s a rather basic and disappointing listen.

Admittedly this album was listened to a ton –it was impossible to turn it off. There’s something more nostalgic in this release that demands The Mantles attention. All Odds End isn’t perfect, it isn’t even spectacular –but the album gets the job done. Without expectations, it holds up.

The Mantles are a great band for consistent indie releases –their music isn’t bad and All Odds End is the third of a series of very decent releases. Not everyone is a superstar though and unfortunately The Mantles fail to really do anything impressive with this latest release. If indie pop already finds its way onto your playlist, by all means, give All Odds End a listen. Otherwise, there’s nothing significant enough here to warrant a listen. It’s a sleeper album and that painfully shows.

Rating: 7.0/10

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